We machine… – (a haiku sonnet)

We machine sadness;
hone the lives of our knives and 	
sharpen our dances

to slice into the
watery selves of these silks
that we wave about.

We choreograph 
the movements of alphabets,		
shading the letters

with all the wet and
hard and broken things that we 
find in our insides.

And then? We cry out, spilling
them onto the floor.

I know I promised, but here we are and we’re still saying, “Surely, he wouldn’t….”

(I normally shy away from posting anything that has even a whiff of the political, but after our 

inglorious leader's so-called "proclamation" yesterday, I felt like.....well, like I wanted to say this 

again.....cuz I already said it, yes, here we are.....)

(and it has been at least a little while....)

For those who burn and those who do the burning....

(originally published, April 17, 2018, in honor of David S. Buckel, and all who burn....)

(I promised to steer clear of politics after this for a long while...)

(So much for promises....guess that's another thing we can kiss goodbye in 2020....)


          It's like somebody said,
          “what’s the worst that could happen?”

          and somebody else said,
          “this guy. this guy could happen.”

          and somebody else said,
          “naw. that guy will never happen.”

          and somebody else said,
          “in your dreams.”

          and somebody else said,
          “in your worst nightmare.”

          and somebody else said,
          “good thing it won’t really happen.”

          and somebody else said,
          “oh, shit.”
          and somebody else said,
          “it happened.”

          and somebody else said,
          “well, how much worse could it get?”

          and somebody else said,
          “don’t jinx it.”

          and somebody else said,
          “what’s that in his hand?”

          and somebody else said,
          “it looks like a gas-can.”

          and somebody else said,
          “surely, even he wouldn’t.”

          and somebody else said,
          “what’s that in his other hand?”

          and somebody else said,
          “shit. it looks like a box of matches.”

          and somebody else said,
          “surely he wouldn’t.”

          and somebody else said,

          and somebody else said,
          "I don't have anywhere to run."

          (For David S. Buckel and for Syria, for whatever it's worth)

This is the door


this is not spoken word.
these are words, 


this is not slam,
this is the door.

this is the window.
this is the glaze.

this is the breeze
brought across your skin.

this is the wind on the water and
the breath on the surface.

this is the ripple.


this is the breath of the earth
brought to the sky.

this is the surface 
where the landscape is seen.

this is the landscape 
where we all wander.

this is the place 
where we all are lost 			
this is the only place 
where we will ever find each other.


this is living a vibrant adage.
this is living on a verdant ledge.
this is living on that vibrating edge.


this is not my body.
this is my voice.

this is vibration brought into being.
this is my mind pushing a column of air,

this is sound shaped into meaning.
this is me breathing, in you.

this is muscle and cavity, moving.
this is diaphragm, lung, larynx, tongue, lips and jaw.
these are my words in your mouth.		
this is my world 
in the mouth of your mind.


this is not performance, 
this is incantation.


this is where body touches mind.
this is where meaning is born
and this is where meaning dies.

this is not finding meaning in a story.
this is making a story mean something.

this is not seeking meaning. 
this is living meaning
and this is making all these things mean something.

this is not seeking, 
this is making.

this is mind making myth.
this is myth-making mind.
this is making myth mind.
this is myth making mind 
this is making me (into) a myth.


this is not ritual,
this is invocation. 


this is not some 
this is something lived.

this is some but not all.

this is the sum.
this is the current.
this is the slow movement of mind
this movement is not mine.

this is the company of misery.
this is the beat of the beaten.
this is the brand of the new.

this is the spent cartridge,
the smell of sulphur
and a cloud of rust
in a sepia sky.

this is blood sucked 
straight from the sand.
this is the tatters 
of the temple’s torn curtain.


this is pure speculation.
this is mind ore.
this is the whore of the mind
doing its helical mambo.

this is me 
fucking me.

this is what it means.

this is what “it” means.


this is all there is.

this is all there is.

this is all there is.


(I began this piece sometime in 2015 and have tinkered
with it on and off ever since. As happens often with me, 
I get tired of looking at things or I don't know what else
to do with them and so I abandon them here....

“Poems are never finished – just abandoned”
—Paul Valery)

Child Within



A little girl sits on a bench,
swings her legs 
and reads from her book 
of a thousand and one jokes.

I glimpse, in that act, 
a young woman,

and I am thrilled
and deeply
at once.


A look crosses a woman’s face, 

for less than a moment,
too fast 
to be
more than
barely seen.
The girl that once was
comes passing through
a passing thought 

and is caught  
—only not caught—

and gone before 
she is known 
for what she is
or what she was,

left with only the 
memory of 
an expression
of memory

passed beneath the surface.

The little girl is gone.


A little boy cries out
from an old 
man’s face,
the sad one,
the lost one, 
the last one, 

beyond comprehension 
of a hard-won heart.

The learned self-given healing

—even that—
is gone.

as can only be known
to a child is

carried on and on,
a burden that one 
never wants to open.


A son is asked 
by his father

—but it is the cry of the lost boy,
ripped from somewhere deep 
in the old man’s throat—

“Will you be my mommy?”

How can a son answer this,
when his father does the asking?

Is this what it feels like to be born?
To lose forever the warmth
that is still (but now only) 
known from within?

We find us both 
lost past longing
and long past lost.

why this happens to any of us,
this slap that is existence.

A son is carried by his father
for so many years that he is
shocked to realize he is no 
longer being carried, surprised
to find himself standing with 
his own legs under him.


A little girl sits on a bench,
swings her legs 
and reads her book 
of a thousand and one jokes.

I glimpse, in that act, 
a young woman,

and I am thrilled
and deeply
at once.